Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car will not start without a jump

asked by on

My car drove to work fine, I went to start it when I left and it wouldn't start, I figured I left a light on or something and I got a jump and it started, while I was driving it my stereo was going in and out and my check engine, abs, battery, and airbag lights all came on. When I got home and turned off my car it would not start again. I had to get a jump and all the lights came back on, now my car is making a whistling sound and my cat was silent before, why is it doing all of this suddenly?

My car has 133751 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This sounds like your alternator is going o...

This sounds like your alternator is going out. It maybe outputting just enough power to allow the car to run once you get it started, but it isn’t putting out enough power to recharge your battery. Either way, you need to have the battery tested first followed by your alternator. The whistling sound is most likely the alternator. They will often make various humming or whistling noises when problems occur.

Based on your description, it is likely your alternator. Although, the battery could be the source of the problem for detailed reasons beyond the scope of this forum. For this reason, the battery should be thoroughly tested before the alternator is condemned.

If you need help with getting these components checked, consider YourMechanic. A certified technician will be able to assist you by diagnosing the issue with your battery and fix it as necessary

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Driver's seat motor or track is not allowing the seat to be adjusted. Do you work on this type of problem?

Depending on the symptoms of the seat not working, this may be related to the power motor itself not working properly or potentially something lodged in the track not allowing it to move freely. As you may know, there is...

Q: Charging System Failure on van

It definitely sounds like you are experiencing a charging issue. The alternator is the component responsible for charging the battery in a vehicle. System voltage needs to be a minimum of 12 volts. Anything less than this could potentially create...

Q: Compressed air noise followed by smoke.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, concerning jump starting your vehicle's dead battery, there may a combination of problems. Smoke and a burning smell are not good. First, I'm lead to believe, the battery has completely failed. ...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...